Arizona has emerged as the top contender in the PAC-12, a game clear of Washington State, as the team takes the dreaded "mountain road trip" to face Utah and then Colorado.
Utah has been dangerous at home, unbeaten this season, and will look to give another team issues with the altitude playing a role. Arizona has had issues on the road all season and there may not be more a tougher place in the PAC-12 than against the Utes.
How should we bet this one? Should we take the talented Wildcats or the frisky home underdog?
Let's break it down with our full betting preview:
Arizona vs. Utah Odds, Spread and Total
Utah vs. Arizona Betting Trends
- Arizona is 14-8 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Utah is 11-1 ATS this season
- Arizona is 3-3 SU in true road games
- Utah is undefeated at home this season
Utah vs. Arizona How to Watch
- Date: Thursday, February 8th
- Game Time: 8:00 PM EST
- Venue: Jon M. Huntsman Center
- How to Watch (TV): PAC-12 Network
- Arizona Record: 17-5
- Utah Record: 15-7
Arizona vs. Utah Key Players to Watch
Caleb Love: Love has put together a handful of complete performances, up to nearly 19 points per game, five rebounds and over three assists with the Wildcats. He's fresh off an 18-point, eight- rebound and seven-assist outing against Stanford in a second half rally to win at home. Can the Wildcats solve its suspect road play on Thursday night at altitude? Love will be a big reason why.
Deivon Smith: Smith has emerged as the most reliable guard for the Utes after transferring from Georgia Tech this past offseason. He is up to nearly 45% shooting from beyond the arc while leading the league in PAC-12 assist rate (43%). Smith has logged a triple double in PAC-12 play already, and may need a similar output for Utah to knock off Arizona.
Arizona vs. Utah Prediction and Pick
Few teams have as stark of home/road splits as Utah.
According to Haslametrics, Utah is fifth in its home court rating, meaning the team improves its play from its baseline average at the fifth highest rate by playing at home (with a noted home court advantage that dates back years).
This is even more impactful against Arizona, who is 353rd in its away from home court rating, meaning the team drops off a cliff when it leaves Tuscon.
Utah has an elite defense on the interior with big man Brenden Carlson patrolling the middle as the Utes are 26th in field goal percentage allowed at the rim. That will be impactful as Arizona is incredibly reliant on scoring on the inside, tops in PAC-12 two-point percentage and offensive rebounding rate.
Utah can slow this game down and make it a half court grind, where Smith can outduel Love in a battle of two of the best point guards in the PAC-12. Utah has the highest three-point rate in conference play, and Arizona has been vulnerable from deep, allowing the 274th highest open three rate in the country, per ShotQuality.
I'm counting on Utah to keep this game competitive and potentially upset Arizona, who has been prone to lapses in play on the road (losing to the likes of Stanford and Oregon State).
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!